CKE Restaurants Inc. said Tuesday it will build 12 Carl's Jr. restaurants in Kazakhstan over the next five years in partnership with a longtime overseas franchisee.

The Americana Group, which operates 194 of CKE's Hardee's restaurants in the Middle East, will switch to the Carl's Jr. brand for the Carpinteria-based fast food chain's entry into the former Soviet republic.

"We have a successful history with the Americana Group and are confident that they will continue to demonstrate their knowledge, expertise and passion for the CKE brands as they expand in new and existing markets," Chief Executive Andrew F. Puzder said in a statement.

International locations comprise about 10 percent of CKE's network of 3,100 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 42 states and in 14 countries, with plans to grow that to 20 percent by 2014, according to the company.

Kuwait-based Americana also operates TGIF's, Krispy Kreme, KFC and Pizza Hut locations in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

CKE shares, which closed down 78 cents, or 9 percent, to $8 in regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, were up 5 percent in after-market trading.

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